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Monday, November 14, 2011
Buchholz expected to declare free agency

By Adam Rubin

Reliever Taylor Buchholz cleared waivers and is expected to join Nick Evans and Jason Pridie, who were outrighted last week, in declaring free agency.

Sandy Alderson said that does not preclude any of those players from re-signing with the organization.

Assistant GM John Ricco noted it makes sense for all three players to declare free agency and look around for other opportunities.

Evans and Pridie have remained with the organization in the past when they cleared waivers and were outrighted. But in the other instances, it was in spring training or in-season where they would have been walking away from guaranteed money in contracts.

Assuming all three declare free agency as expected, the Mets’ 40-man roster would be at 31. The Mets need to add prospects by the end of the week in order to shield them from the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings -- while leaving room to sign free agents.

Buchholz went on the DL with a shoulder issue after a May 29 appearance and did not reappear because of depression and anxiety issues.

Alderson said it remained unclear whether Buchholz wanted to pitch in 2012.

Like with Mike Pelfrey, Angel Pagan, Ronny Paulino and Manny Acosta, Buchholz was arbitration-eligible. But the Mets cut him loose now rather than the Dec. 12 non-tender deadline to free the 40-man roster spot in advance of the Rule 5 draft protection deadline.

“If you look at all of these, mostly it’s about roster management and balancing that against what we foresee for the player next year,” Alderson said. “It’s possible that any one or all three of those guys can come back in some capacity.”